Dec. 6, 2009
FOR STARTERS Winners of a season-high three straight games, the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team (4-3, 0-0 Big West) begins a two-game road trip Sunday as the Matadors visit the No. 10 Washington Huskies (5-1, 0-0 Pac-10). The trip to Seattle opens up a stretch where Northridge will play five of its next six games on the road. The lone home contest over the next month will be Dec. 18 against Drexel. The two-game trip wraps up Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Denver. Northridge won its first two home games of the season defeating CSU Bakersfield (81-74) on Monday and Idaho (95-93) on Thursday.
THE LAST TIME OUT ..... Senior forward Kenny Daniels scored a career-high 39 points to help Cal State Northridge battle back from a 14-point second-half deficit to record a 95-93 victory over the University of Idaho in a non-league men's basketball game on Thursday night at The Matadome. Daniels' 39 points is the most points scored by Matador player since Mark Cooley scored 40 points at Cal State Fullerton on February 18, 1967. Daniels' effort is the third-best effort in a single game in school history. Only Cooley's 40-points at Cal State Fullerton (2/18/67) and a school record 47 points by Ollie Carter vs Westmont College (2/1/66) are better. Daniels hit 12-of-17 shorts from the floor, 13-of-15 from the free throw line along with ten rebounds in 39 minutes. Redshirt sophomore Vinnie McGhee came off the bench to score 14 points in 17 minutes of play. McGhee hit 5-of-6 shots. The victory raised CSUN's season record to 4-3 while Idaho fell to 4-2. As a team, Cal State Northridge hit .525 (32-for-61) from the floor.
MATADORS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS Sunday's game at No. 10 Washington gives the Matadors their second crack at a Top-10 team in 2009-10. Northridge opened the season at then No. 7 Purdue falling 89-64 on Nov. 13. The Matadors are 2-8 against teams ranked in the top-25 since the 2000-01 season. The last time a Matador team defeated a top-25 squad was March of 2004 when Northridge topped No. 22 Utah State 63-62 in the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament.
FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM After a brief two-game homestand, the Matadors will add to their ever-increasing amount of air miles this weekend. Having already flown 7,942 miles over the first month of the season, Northridge will fly to Seattle, Wash., for Sunday's game against Washington then continue on to Colorado to take on Denver next Tuesday, Dec. 8. Northridge opened the season with a 2,113-mile trip to Purdue and then added 1,727 miles traveling from West Lafayette, Ind. to Tempe, Ariz. Last week, Northridge added 3,694 round-trip miles in flying to and from Kentucky for a grand total of 11,421 air miles over the first month and a half of the season.
MATADORS IMPROVE TO 39-13 IN HOME OPENERS With Monday's 81-74 victory over CSU Bakersfield, the Matadors improved to 39-13 (.750) all-time in home openers. The win also improved Northridge's record to 13-1 (.929) in home openers under Bobby Braswell. The only loss in a home opener under Braswell came in 2001-02 when Nevada knocked off the Matadors 85-75. The Matadome is becoming an increasingly difficult place for opposing teams as the Matadors are now 32-10 (.762) at home over the last three seasons following Thursday's win over Idaho.
52ND SEASON OF NORTHRIDGE BASKETBALL The 2009-10 season marks the 52nd season of Cal State Northridge basketball. Since the program's inception in 1958-59, the Matadors have posted an all-time record of 681-719 (.486). In 1990-91, Northridge made the move to Division I and has since posted a record of 263-295 (.471).
MATADORS ON THE NET All home games and select road games will be broadcast live at GoMatadors.com and IBSU.net. Bill Courtland, who enters his fourth season with the Matadors, serves as the primary voice of Northridge men's basketball. Also working selected games this season is Alan Zinsmeister, a veteran of Northridge men's basketball broadcasts. Zinsmeister will handle selected road contests and will work alongside Courtland during many home games. Zinsmeister is in his sixth season broadcasting Matador basketball. Cal State Northridge does not have an over-the-air radio package for the 2009-2010 season.
NORTHRIDGE ON THE TUBE The Matadors will make five (possibly seven) regular season television appearances during the 2009-10 season. Northridge will make its Fox Sports debut on Dec. 6 when the Matadors take on the Washington Huskies on FSN Northwest. The Northridge-Colorado contest on Dec. 22 will be on FSN Rocky Mountain before the Matadors will make three (possibly five) appearances as part of the Big West television package. Northridge will appear on FSN West on Feb. 6 (at Long Beach State), Feb. 17 (Cal Poly) and Feb. 27 (at UC Irvine). The Matadors could also be selected among wild card games on Jan. 30 and Feb. 24.
DANIELS POSTS THIRD-BEST SCORING EFFORT IN MATADOR HISTORY Senior forward Kenny Daniels (G/F, 6-4, 210, St. Louis, Mo.) scored a career-high 39 points against Idaho on Thursday, and ties for the most points scored by Matador player since Mark Cooley scored 40 points at Cal State Fullerton on February 18, 1967. Daniels' effort is the third-best effort in a single game in school history. Only Cooley's 40-points at Cal State Fullerton (2/18/67) and a school record 47 points by Ollie Carter vs Westmont College (2/1/66) are better. Mike Efevberha (vs. Cal State Fullerton, 1-7-06) and Mike O'Quinn (vs. Eastern Washington, 3/5/98) also scored 39 points in a single game. Daniels hit 12-of-17 shorts from the floor, 13-of-15 from the free throw line along to go with 10 rebounds in 39 minutes. The senior scored 21 of the CSUN's 43 first-half points hitting 6-of-8 shots from the floor, and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Daniels has now scored in double figures in all seven games this season.
DANIEL SHINES AS GALICK RECOVERS With Willie Galick recovering from a case of strep throat, junior Lenny Daniel (F, 6-7, 210, Richmond, Va.) shined in his first start since the second game of the season. Daniel had 11 points and eight rebounds but was most impressive on the defensive end where he had five blocks, including one on a dunk attempt by Idaho's 6-10 center Marvin Jefferson. Daniel's block total ties Kevin Taylor for the second-best single game performance in Matador history. Calvin Chitwood owns the Northridge record with six blocks against Washington in 2007. Despite the illness, Galick did play 22 minutes against Idaho and had five points and four rebounds in his first non-start of the season.
MCGHEE CONTINUES SOLID PLAY OFF THE BENCH With Dathan Lyles sidelined with an injury, Vinnie McGhee (G, 6-0, 165, R-So., Oakland, Calif.) had another solid outing as the back-up point guard. After scoring a season-high 19 points in a reserve role against CSU Bakersfield on Monday, McGhee became the first Matador since Rodrigue Mels last March to lead Northridge in scoring off the bench. The redshirt-sophomore, who played a season-high 24 minutes with starter Mark Hill in foul trouble, converted 7-of-11 shots, including three treys, to go with three assists and one steal. Against Idaho on Thursday, McGhee added 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting and was a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point land in 17 minutes.
NORTHRIDGE NOTES 95 points against Idaho is a season-high for the Matadors and the most by a Northridge team since Mar. 5 of last season when Northridge defeated UC Davis 99-72 ... Senior Therin Taylor played a season-high 17 minutes off the bench against Idaho and scored a season-high seven points while also adding two rebounds, one block and one steal. Taylor also made a couple of key steals in the game against Bakersfield which sparked the Matadors on a 22-2 run ... Junior Michael Lizarraga has started the last five games for Northridge and the Matadors are now 4-1 in those contests ... Senior Mark Hill was held without an assist for the third time this season against CSU Bakersfield on Monday, but came back with a season-high five dimes against Idaho on Thursday. For the season, Hill is tied with Willie Galick with 13 assists, second-best on the squad ... After losing their first two games of the season by an average of 19 points (83.5-64.5), Northridge has outscored its opponents by a margin of 80.8-77.2 over the last five games. The Matadors now trail their opponents by and average of just 3.6 points per game (79.7-76.1) after seven games.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES Washington is 5-1 on the season and a perfect 5-0 at home heading into Sunday's game. The Huskies are averaging 84.8 points per game in five home wins. Washington's only loss in its first six games came at Texas Tech on Thursday (99-92 in overtime). Senior forward Quincy Pondexter paces the Huskies averaging 22.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas adds 20.2 points per game while shooting 41.7% from three-point range.
SERIES HISTORY Sunday's game marks the fourth meeting all-time between Cal State Northridge and Washington. The Matadors have never beaten the Huskies in three tries, falling in Seattle each time. The two teams last met during the 2007-08 season when Washington defeated Northridge 80-66.
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